The beginning…a very good place to start!

I’ve received my course file just over a week ago, complete with Ian Jeffrey’s Photography A Concise History. And at 248 pages it’s amazing how concise photographic history can be! The first ever photograph being taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, View from the Window at Le Gras, ca1826. So compared to other artistic mediums, photography is very much in it’s infancy.

I hope that the Art of Photography will enable me to build up an awareness of some of the great photographers, as their work tends to be more celebrated than themselves.

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever…it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

It was not until two distinct scientific processes (optical and chemical) had been put together that photography came into being.

1. The Camera Obscura (dark room) had been in existence for at least four hundred years. There is a drawing, dated 1519, of a Camera Obscura by Leonardo da Vinci; about this same period its use as an aid to drawing was being advocated.

2. For hundreds of years before photography was invented, people had been aware, for example, that some colours are bleached in the sun, but they had made little distinction between heat, air and light.

There are also so many photographers out there who remain undiscovered. The shots that some people post on Flickr are incredible. We are now in a digital age, and images can be manipulated to extend creativity to whole new levels. The danger with digital photography is ‘the machine-gun effect’. Memory cards are now capable of storing hundreds of images, so it is very convenient to take many photos with little thought of composition. I have been guilty of this…when I went to the Giant’s Causeway I took just over 100! I hope that the TAoP will encourage me to go for quality rather than quantity.

The course consists of over 60 projects and 5 assignments, so it makes sense to divide this log in the same way.

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About Matt

Photography degree student with the Open College of the Arts.
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